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Robert MacNeil, originally from Nova Scotia, is a transplanted American. He came to the United States as a university student, and was very confident in his own ability to speak excellent English, or so he thought. Before he came to the US, he was told by the teacher that he needed to change the way he spoke English, that he needed to learn to speak "standard American English".
William Cran is basically the director who made this book and their earlier work "The story of English" into a documentary in the mid-80s. He and Robert travelled across the country; interviewing ordinary people from different states to get answers as to how and why English language has changed and what influences does it have around the world.
On their journey from the Northeast, through Appalachia and the Deep South, and west to California, the authors question different native speakers and ask them about their traditions and linguistic behaviour. They observe everyday verbal interactions and study the history and controversies of both written and spoken American English, they find out how the growing influence of Spanish is a big threat to American English.
The special treatment of African-American native language is tackled and it is seen how black music has been eagerly adapted by the youngsters of the country, even the whites. This plays a big part in re-shaping American English. They encountered Mailbus Surf Punks as well, where they were introduced to slang such as dude, bluff, totally, rad. In California they heard synonyms for words such as good (awesome, wicked, sweet) or bad (blows, wick, bites) (p4). Changes are also seen in America’s most populous state California and the media is to be blamed for this.
The influence of Hollywood and TV and Far Eastern languages has affected American English, writing and speech. Another issue being discussed is that people hold a very open attitude towards American English. People
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This story presents an account of a young delinquent on his decisions to take part in criminal activities in the society. In this book, there is detailed narration of the delinquent’s motivations and factors that led to his becoming a criminal. From a detailed explanation of the events, the young guy, Stanley, is seen on the verge of perfecting his acts of taking part in criminal activities, as well as the inequalities present in the society.
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